The moment a car barrels toward you and you know you will not be able to stop on time can feel terrifying. Emotional trauma might follow as you try to get out of your vehicle, avoid other traffic and speak with authorities.
Knowing some strategies for staying calm during a car accident might help you stay focused when the unexpected happens. Being in control could prevent your emotions from taking over so you can handle the situation safely and effectively.
As soon as your vehicle comes to a stop, turn your hazard lights on and look for the safest place to get out. If your vehicle is not disabled, safely move it to a spot away from traffic. If the damage is too severe, assess your physical condition and that of any passengers inside of your vehicle. Call 911 and describe the location of the accident to the best of your abilities. This may include street names, landmarks, nearby businesses and even the color of the vehicles involved if you know that information.
If your injuries prevent you from moving, try not to panic. Breathe slowly and deeply and keep your eyes open. If you can get out of your vehicle, move to a safe place on the side of the road and stay put until emergency personnel arrives.
Gathering information at the scene of the accident can prevent confusion and disappointment later on. You will want to get the other driver’s contact information and the name of his or her insurance company. According to U.S. News, if you can, take photos of the car accident scene. Include the positions of the vehicles, as well as the extent of any property damage. Ask for a copy of the incident report and keep all of the information you have in one place.
Responding to a car accident with poise can help you avoid mistakes and protect your safety.